April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and although there are a lot of topics to cover under Sexual Assault, today we will be briefly talking about consent. Most of the times when people hear ‘sexual assault’, they immediately think the assault was perpetrated by a stranger and that is true sometimes. However, according to RAINN (n,d), rape is committed:
– 19.5% of the time by a stranger,
– 39% of the time by an acquaintance,
– 33% of the time by a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend
– 6% of the time by someone the survivor cannot remember and
– 2.5% by a relative who is not a spouse.
From these statistics, it is glaring that assault is perpetrated on a larger scale by people we know and a large percentage of that is from individuals in romantic relationships. To some people, the subject of consent is uncalled for when individuals are in a relationship but I would like to ask that we re-think this erroneous notion. In this very short article, we will look at what consent is, what it looks like, who cannot give consent and some frequently asked questions.
Consent is an agreement between two individuals to engage in sex. It should be clearly and freely (not forcefully) communicated. Force can mean physical pressure or coercion. However, emotional and psychological manipulation can be forceful
Who cannot give consent
– Underage persons
– Intoxicated or incapacitated persons
– Persons asleep or unconscious
Some Frequently asked questions
- Q.When do I seek consent?
- A.Before any kind of touch. It is important to set and learn boundaries from the very beginning.
- What is giving consent?
- When a person says “Yes, I am sure”.
- What causes help you determine if you have someone’s consent after you’ve asked them?
- Their words, tone of their voice, and body language.
- Once both parties have consented, can I still tell my partner that I would like to stop or need a break?
- Yes!!! Consent is not a one-time thing, it is ongoing.
Please be advised that the above information is but a brief summary. We have so much access to information. It is imperative to be educated about these issues so that we can stand together to prevent sexual assault and support survivors.
RAINN (n,d). Sexual assault. Retrieved from https://www.rainn.org/articles/sexual-assault
RAINN(n,d). Perpetrators of sexual violence: statistics. Retrieved from https://www.rainn.org/statistics/perpetrators-sexual-violence
Last modified: May 6, 2021